Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bible Reading Schedule - January

There are so many ways that you can read through the Bible in one year.  Don't think that there is no way that you can do it, because it is possible.  If I can do this .. you can too.  Trust me .. you can.  This will make 3 years that I have read through and I can't wait to do it again next year.  Each year I get something different out of it -- can't wait to see what I will pull out next year.

The way that I do it is by reading Change Your life Daily Bible by Becky Tirabass.  It has it broken down for you what you are to read each day. 

Here is another way ... I will give you what to read for each 365 days ... I will post each month - so you don't have to keep scrolling down through each month.  I thought this would make it easier. 

1.    Genesis 1-3
2.    Genesis 4:1-6:8
3.    Genesis 6:9-9:29
4.    Genesis 10-11
5.    Genesis 12-14
6.    Genesis 15-17
7.    Genesis 18-19
8.    Genesis 20-22
9.    Genesis 23-24
10.  Genesis 25-26
11.  Genesis 27-28
12.  Genesis 29-30
13.  Genesis 31-32
14.  Genesis 33-35
15.  Genesis 36-37
16.  Genesis 38-40
17.  Genesis 41-42
18.  Genesis 43-45
19.  Genesis 46-47
20.  Genesis 48-50
21.  Job 1-3
22.  Job 4-7
23.  Job 8-11
24.  Job 12-15
25.  Job 16-19
26.  Job 20-22
27.  Job 23-28
28.  Job 29-31
29.  Job 32-34
30.  Job 35-37
31.  Job 38-42

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas aftermath ...

I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Christmas.  Have you taken down your decorations yet?  Mine are still up ... not sure when I will take mine down .. one day this week. 

I thought I was going to have a nice, quiet and peaceful week, but not this time.  I have had two long time friends of the family to pass away.  Tomorrow will be one funeral and the other one will be the next day.  I don't do well at funerals .. I wish I could avoid them all together .. but it isnt' the right thing to do.  Please pray for the Stephens and Thornton family, this week.  Thank you!!

My family had the best Christmas.  The kids got things they had asked for and my husband and I got the best presents anyone could ever ask for.  My kids wrote a poem and put the words on one of my favorite pictures of them.  I couldn't even read it when I opened it ... my sister had to read it aloud to me.  I just can't express what those words on the paper meant to me.  I honestly do have the BEST kids!!!  I don't think I could love them anymore than I do right now ....

Mary, Thomas, Mark
It snowed here on Christmas day .. I think the last snow we had on Christmas day was 1968 -- I think that is what they said on the news.  It was gorgeous!!!  The kids got out and made a snowman before I got breakfast done.  (We dont' get many snows around here and not like this one.)  It was another great present to have a White Christmas.  Thank you Jesus!!

Thomas & Mary - Christmas Day - 2010
What do you have planned for New Year's?  Do you and your family go to parties?  I would love to hear how other people bring in the New Year!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wishing you Merry Christmas ...

Not sure how much I will be on for the next couple of days.  I have more baking to do today - then family time for the rest of the weekend. 

I just love this time of year and all this time with family.  I am so grateful for the family that I do have ... I am totally Blessed!!

Let's take a moment out of our busy schedule and remember those that dont' have family around them.  Those that are depressed, lonely and missing loved ones that have passed on.  This is a very exciting time of year for many of us, but a very sad time for others.  I had forgotten about this until I read another blog, who was so wonderful to remind me that there are people in this world that are hurting this time of year.  Check out her post at Mel's Coffee Break - really great article.

Also, remember to Thank God for what you do have - especially your loved ones around you.  For this being the celebration of the birth of His Son - Jesus.  We all talk about Jesus being the reason for the season but do we really walk in Love?  That is one thing I am going to work on from this moment on - to walk each day in God's Love!!

Now - to get busy baking those sugar cookies.   Here is wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!!  May God Bless you!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas is in the Air ....

Well, shopping is DONE!!!  Yea ... it is a good thing too .. no more money.  I still have some wrapping to do ... just got to get the kids out of the house so that I can finish up the wrapping.  They love it when I wrap and they are still at home -- they try to pick open the bedroom door or they have even tried putting a mirror underneath the door to see if they can see anything.  I wonder where they get their sneaking around ... I dont' have a clue.  hehehe

So now that the shopping is done ... it is time to get the baking done.  This I  really love to do and enjoy it.  I love making things to give away to neighbors and friends as gifts.  Nothing warms my heart more than a gift from the heart.

Things to get baked -- chocolate covered pretzels, sausage balls, fudge, swirl cakes (in loaf pans) and some Martha Washington balls.  I am sure that we can think up something else.  I know my son would love some cupcakes and I have to bake another pound cake for Christmas at my sisters. 

I promise to take pictures and post them on my blog.  So off to baking I go ...

Are you finished with your shopping?  What about your baking?  Do you have people over during the holidays?   

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Still spinning ....

Couldn't sleep this morning ... too much on my mind.  Today is my dad's birthday, for one, and he would have been 68.  It has been 1-1/2 since he past and I still miss him.  I will see him one day ....

Something else that I thinking about is a continuation to yesterday's post.  I have been thinking in more detail on my goals for 2011 and how to break them down.  And I am adding one more to my list - to get my house and my life, De-cluttered!!

So here, is what I have come up with - for starters:

Money Monday - I will be posting how my getting out of debt is coming along.

Weight Loss Wednesday - Of course, here is where I will be sharing my exercise routine and how I am doing losing weight.

De-clutter Friday - This is my day to de-clutter something in my house or in my life.  Whether it be a big space or small small - it will be cleaned!!!

I am so excited about the break down to my week.  I will still be posting recipes and something spiritual.  Just not sure when I will throw those in - you never know.

I hope that you will follow along on this year long journey.  Help me out along the way!!  Hold me accountable!!  And please, please ... share your journey with me. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Wheels are spinning ...

I know this may sound crazy with Christmas next week, and so much on my plate, BUT I have already been thinking about changes that I want to make in 2011.   How long should one's list be?  Can you have a list that is too long?   There are several areas that I really want to work on for next year, big areas, but I have decided to just make small changes. 

I don't know if any of you have heard of Becky Tirabass, but I love getting her e-mails.  The ones she is sending out lately is about making small changes in whatever areas you need too.  Her website is - check it out sometime - she is really good. 

So I thought about including my list on here and you can help keep me accountable.  I am not usually good with having people keep me accountable, but I am hoping that you will help me change that too.  Here is my list so far:

* Keep working on getting out of DEBT - I really want to be debt free and so mad that we are in the mess that we are in, but I know that the Lord will help us get rid of this burden.   One change I am working on, in this area, is cutting my grocery bill - I bought myself a book for Christmas - and I am already reading it.  I just can't put it down.  It is "Cut Your Grocery Bill in HALF" by Steve & Annette Economides - It has some really good ideas so far.  I will blog about the ones that I use and how they are help me cut my grocery bill.  Hopefully I can help one of you.

* To finally lose WEIGHT -   With having "no" thyroid, I know it isn't going to be easy, but I know that if I work at it, I can finally get this weight off. 

* To keep growing spiritually - I want to keep getting closer to God - to have that personal relationship that He wants us to have with Him.  I want to take this year a step further than my reading through the Bible in a year.  I want to spend more time with God.  So, one change I am going to make in the new year is to spend 20 - 30 minutes in quiet, with Him.  I am so looking forward to it. 

So, here are a few of the changes that I am wanting to make in 2011.  With these main ones, will come a lot of smaller ones.   I know that each day becomes a new step to take.  I also know that I can't take one step without God helping me.  I know for sure that I can't do it on my own ... I wouldn't be in this situation .. if I could have. 

What are some changes that you would like to make?  Join me and let's make them together. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What a Week ...

This has been a crazy and kind of odd week.  It is the last week of school before our Christmas break and we are off for 3 weeks.  I am so going to enjoy the break.  (I drive a school bus for those of you who might not know.)

The weather has been a little weird this week - esp. for this time of year.  We have had snow and missed Monday and got to go in one hour later on Tuesday - then we had sleet/ freezing rain yesterday - got out of school early - then went in 2 hours late this morning.  I live in the south - what is going on with this weather?  It has been so cold too.  It isn't this cold until January/February. 

I got 6 of my 7 pound cakes baked.  I have went through 5 lb bag of sugar, 3 dozen eggs and 12 sticks of butter and then there is the flour.   Gosh that is alot .... We did eat one of the cakes - and it is GONE!!  Not sure about your house, but sweets don't last long around here. 

My kids will be gone this weekend.  They are going with my mom to visit my aunt in South Georgia.  This will give me time to finish my Christmas shopping.  I am going to get done this weekend!!!  Dont' have much more to buy - thank goodness!! I want to have next week to do more baking and just to spend time enjoying my kids. 

How is your week gone?  Have you got all your Christmas shopping done???

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

As promised - the best Pound Cake you have ever eaten.  I searched for months to find a really good pound cake recipe and finally found one.  A friend of my mom's sent it to me.  It really is good and not that hard to make ... just takes a little time.  But well worth it.  I hope you enjoy!!

Cream: 3 cups sugar
            1-1/2 cups margarine (3 sticks)
             8 oz cream cheese

Add:   2 eggs
           1 cup of flour (beat)

Add:   2 more eggs
           1 cup of flour (beat)

Add:  2 more eggs
          1 cup of flour (beat)

Add:  1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pour into a large tube pan or bundt pan sprayed with non stick spray and sprinkled with sugar.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
DO NOT open oven first hour of baking.  Take out of oven and let cool on baking rack.

by: Lila Chancellor


Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day

It is hard to believe that we are out of school today due to "Snow".  Ok, where I live, we don't get snow very often, and especially during December.  I just love Snow - I think it is so gorgeous!!!

With there being Snow on the ground, kids home and fridget temperatures outside - I have had to change my plans for today.  I had intented on going shopping today and getting some more presents bought.  Oh well .. life as a mom ... you have to go with the flow sometimes.

So, instead of shopping today, I am doing some baking.  My sister is buying four of my pound cakes to give as presents, my husband wants one for his office party this Wednesday and of course, my family wants one to eat and then there is one for Christmas day.  So, in total, I have '7' pound cakes to bake this week.  Guess what I am doing since I will be indoors today?  Baking - pound cakes!! 

I promise I will post the recipe this week - I promise.  You will love it!!  It makes the most amazing pound cake.  I have looked everywhere for a really good recipe and a friend of my mom's sent me hers.  I just don't think you can top this one.  So, in between baking them, I will get the recipe posted. 

Hope you all are having a fabulous day - no matter what the weather is outside!!!

Million Dollar Pie

This is one of the easiest and best tasting pies.  This is an old favorite of mine.  I use to make this all the time before I got married and as newlyweds.  It didn't require any baking.  So, this is a no fuss, no bake pie - you can't lose. 

1 can Eagle Brand Milk
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 large cool whip
1 can coconut
1 large can pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 ready made pie crusts

Mix first six ingredients together and pour into pie shells and chill.  Makes 2 pies.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cheese Wreath

This recipe is from my mom.  She is famous for her cheese ball/wreath at Christmas time.   Dad's office couldn't have a party without mom's cheese wreath.  I hope that you will enjoy this recipe as much as my family has and those my mom has shared it with.

16 oz. medium cheddar cheese, shredded
16 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 small onion, chopped finely
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 cup of pecans, chopped
1 small jar of strawberry preserves

Mix first six ingredients together.  Spread saran wrap in the bottom of a bundt pan, then spread the cheese mixture evenly onto saran wrap.  Fold saran wrap over the cheese and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Un-mold cheese wreath on a serving tray and pour strawberry preserves over top.  Serve with crackers of your choice.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Ok, I promised to tell you some of my families Christmas traditions.  As I think of, which ones I want to post, I have to tell you that I have sat here and just laughed, until I have cried.  It has brought back a lot of funny memories. 

One of my favorite, when I was younger, traditions was seeing how early we could wake up on Christmas morning.  It was a competition we had going on, with our neighbors.  To see who could get up before the other one.  The last that I remember, we were getting up at 4:30 in the morning.  Shoot, by the time, others were getting up to open presents, we were going to bed for a nap.  My husband, couldn't believe we were getting up that early to open presents.  That is one tradition that I am so glad we dont' do anymore. 

One of my dad's traditions, was hiding my mom's presents.  He would hid them at one of our neighbor's houses.  She would usually go through the morning, not knowing if she had a present or not.  Or he would send her on a scavenger hunt.  Another thing he would do would be to wrap a hugh box, of course with no name on it, and then there would be about 5 to 10 boxes on the inside - all wrapped within one another. And the last small one, would have a note it in of where her present could be found.  We never knew from year to year what he had up his sleeve.  He loved playing jokes on us.

One of my favorite traditions, as a kid, we trying to find out what we got as presents.  My sister and I would find ways to peek and we were really good at it.  Mom never knew we had been into the packages.  We would slice the tape on the presents and take it out or if we tore the paper we would just re-wrap the present.  My mom never knew that we had re-wrapped them.  One time, I need to borrow the car, (I didn't have my own car) and mom had presents in the trunk.  She told us "Girls don't look in the trunk".  Now, what do you think the first thing we did?  We not only looked in the trunk we took everything out and checked them all out, one by one.

My mom was a night owl, and she still is today.  Well, my sister and I couldn't wait until she went to bed to see what we had gotten from Santa. So, we snuck up to the living room, crawling on our hands and knees, and got some of the board games that we had gotten.  We took them back to our rooms and played.  As we were sneaking back up to the living room to put them back, we got to giggling and got caught.  She didnt' know that we were putting them back - she thought we had just come up there.  We finally told her a couple of years ago. 

One more tradition that I would love to share with you, involves my grandparents.  My grandparents would take my sisters, myself, and my cousins to look at Christmas lights.  We would go downtown Chattanooga to look in the windows.  Back then, the business would decorate their windows with different Christmas scenes.  They were great and they are getting back to this today.  Then we would go and eat supper at Krystal's that was downtown.  We would sing Christmas songs and have such a good time.  This was something that I always looked forward to and is something that I miss today. 

Needless to say, since I was so sneaky as a kid, I make sure that my kids can't find presents or open them after they have been wrapped.  At least, I think they haven't done that ...  I guess I will find out when they are adults and start spilling the beans. 

What are some of your family traditions?  Did you do anything funny as kids? 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Lists

Can you believe it is less than 20 days until Christmas?  Have you gotten your shopping done yet?  Well, I haven't gotten mine all done.  I have about half - I hope. 

I am working on my list today.  I am making a list of those I have to buy for and what gifts I have already bought.  I am usually already on top of this, but I have been slacking.  I have found that if you don't make some type of list then you will over spend.  I have done this for too many years.  I would spend Christmas eve panicking because I haven't bought a gift for someone or I haven't bought enough for one of my kids.  So, I decided then I wouldn't do that anymore. 

Oh - if you do make a list - take it from me and make sure that you keep that list well hidden.  My oldest son, found my list, that I had thrown away, after Christmas and that was when he found out about Santa Clause.  So, now, they try to find my list.  I keep it well hid and I make sure that I tear it up in little bitty pieces when I am done. 

Do you have a lot to buy for?  Do you make a list?  I would love to hear how some of you keep up with buying gifts for those on your list. 

Friday, December 3, 2010


I just can't tell you how much I love this time of year.  I am the biggest kid when it comes to Christmas.  It is hard to put into words just how excited I get this time of year. 

Here are a few things that I like about the holidays -

1.  As crazy as it sounds, but I love the smell of Christmas.  With all the baking that goes on in my kitchen, from cookies, sausage balls to all kinds of different candies. 

2. I love Christmas movies.  I drive my family crazy because I love ALL the movies this time of year.  I love the ones on Hallmark and Lifetime channels.  Oh and then there are my all time favorites - Home Alone, Christmas with the Krank's, Jingle All the way and Deck the Halls.  I cant' tell you how many times I have seen these movies, but I just can't get enough.  These are a MUST for the holiday season.

3.  I love the traditions that are made during the holidays.  I am not sure about your family, but we have had some crazy traditions when I was growing up.  I will have to do a separate post on those.  One of our favorites now is, we go to eat at Waffle House Christmas eve and then ride around looking at lights.  I am the one that likes looking at lights but my kids always start gripping  ... of well. 

4.  I love to give to others.  I do try to do this all year long, but there is something about this time of year that brings out the best in people.  If I was rich, I would make a great Santa Clause.  Even though, I am not rich, I still try to do my part in helping out the needy, especially the kids.  I don't like to see kids doing without.  It breaks my heart.  (Like I said, I do try to do this all year long)

These are a few of the reasons I love this time of year.  So, you will have to excuse me if I just seem to be bursting at the seams - I really am. 

Let me not forget to mention that one of the main reasons is the birth of Jesus.  What a precious gift that was? 

I would love to hear some of your favorite things about Christmas?

Also, look for my post on some of our crazy family traditions.  What are some of your family traditions? I would love to hear some.  I will include them in my post.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

White Chocolate Bark

This is a candy that we make every year.  It is a family favorite.  

2 lbs. white chocolate almond bark
2 Tbsp crisco

Melt in microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted, stir well.

2 cups Rice Crispies, oven toasted at 250 degrees
2 cups Captain Crunch peanut butter cereal
1 cup chopped pecan pieces
2 cups marshmallows (mini)

Add to melted chocolate.  Stir until well coated.  Drop by spoon full onto wax paper.
Set until harden.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sausage Balls

Here is the first family recipe for the holidays.  My family loves these and they are already wanting some.  They are easy to make and a great little snack or finger food for a party.  I can never make enough of these during the holidays. 

1 lb of sausage - any kind that you like
1 pkg. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups of Bisquick

Mix together thoroughly, shape into small balls.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Cheese & Bisquick mixed together

Mixing in Sausage with cheese & Bisquick

Sausage balls ready for oven or freezer

**These are great frozen too.  Just place balls on cookie sheet and freeze.  After frozen place in a freezer zip-lock bag.  Can cook frozen - longer time or you can thaw and then cook. ** 

Monday, November 29, 2010

I apologize for not posting, for a couple of days.  I have been under the weather, since Friday.  I am finally, on the road, to recovery. 

I hope that while I have been away, you are through with Thanksgiving, and ready to move on to Christmas.  I think we have to be, whether we are ready to move on or not. 

Even with being sick, I have finally gotten up all my Christmas decorations.  Thank goodness, I have bigger kids and they can help get things out and set up.  I will be sharing some pictures this week. 

I have been collecting some recipes to post during the holiday season.  Some good family recipes for making candy, cookies and whatever else I can find.  So make sure you check in often - you won't want to miss any of these recipes.

Do you make presents to give out to neighbors, teachers, friends and/or family?  I love doing this and I think these are the best presents to receive.  What kind of presents do you make?  I would love to hear all the different ones you make.  I will being sharing some of mine too. 

Thank you to all my followers and readers.  Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Day

I hope that you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving Day!!!  I had the most wonderful day.  It was filled with lots of food, of course, family, friends and just enjoying each other. 

I ended up with about 30 people, at my house, this year.  We were wall to wall - makes it more fun.  We had all kinds of food, from the turkey & dressing to corn, fried okra, mashed potatoes, potato salad, sweet potato casserole, baked beans, and even some green beans, just to name a few.

The desserts were simply delicious and we all out did ourselves.  We had pecan pie (yum), my cheesecake, cupcakes (my oldest sons favorite), banana pudding, apple cake and my son make some brownies with cookies inside. 

I am posting some pictures of the turkey after taking him out of the oven.  It was so moist and really tasty.  I just love the recipe that I use.  It makes cooking the turkey so easy. 

How did your turkey turn out?  How did you cook your turkey?  I would love to hear how you cooked your turkeys. 

Will try to post some more pictures of Thanksgiving in the next couple of days.  I was hoping to have taken more pictures, but I was too busy in the kitchen. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day before Thanksgiving

Well, I am already busy getting my things done today.  There is so much to do, but I know that I will get it all done.  Some how some way, it just gets done.

I have my trusty little to-do list beside me and marking things off as I do them.   It is funny how just one little piece of paper can make your life a lot easier.  Thank goodness for lists ....

So far, I have gotten my cornbread done and my whole chicken is cooking.  These two things will be used in the cornbread dressing.  I also use some of the chicken to either make chicken salad or chicken n dumplings, for supper.   Not sure yet, which one I am going to do. 

I will try to post again later and hopefully post some pictures.  I know I probably won't be able to post anything tomorrow, but I will be taking pictures and will post them this weekend.

Hope you and your family has a most wonderful Thanksgiving!!!  I hope that you have a lot to be Thankful for ... as I know that I do.

Now off to get my cheesecake made ....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What is Hypothyrodism?

Hypothyroidism is where your thyroid is not making enough thyroid hormone.  It makes hormone, that controls, the way your body uses energy.

The Thyroid affects your whole body. If not treated, it can lead to heart attack or stroke.

The symptoms for Hypothyroidism are:

-  feeling tired, weak, or depressed
-  dry skin & brittle nails
-  hair loss
-  not being able to stand the cold
-  constipation
-  memory problems or having trouble thinking clearly
-  heavy or irregular menstrual periods

To diagnose hypothyroidism is easy.  Your doctor will do a simple blood test to measure your T4 and T3.  Then if it comes back that you have hypothyroidism you will need to take medication for the rest of your life.  That doesn't seem too hard, except for you have to make sure you dont' take it, with calcium or iron supplements. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Brining a Turkey

You can brine your turkey up to 24 hours.  So, make sure that you leave yourself plenty of time.  This recipe is for a 18 to 20 pound turkey.

3 cups coarse salt
5 cups of sugar
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp of whole black peppercorns

Put salt, sugar, onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, fresh thyme, parsley, peppercorns and 10 cups of water in a large stockpot.  Bring to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved.  Remove from heat; let brine cool completely.

Add turkey, breast first, to the brine.  Cover; refrigerate 24 hours.  Remove from brine; pat dry with paper towels.  Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lisa's Chicken Pot Pie

This is my families all time favorite recipe.  This is the dish that Thomas, my son in college, wants when he comes home.  It is really easy to make and it is delicious.  Hope you enjoy one of our favorites dishes to eat.

2 boneless chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can sweet peas & carrots, drained
2 medium potatoes, cooked and cubed
1/2 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste
Pillsbury pie crust

Place one pie crust in a 13" baking dish.  In a large mixing bowl, mix both cans of soup, milk, salt and pepper; mix well.  Add chicken, potatoes, corn, sweet peas, and carrots and mix.  Pour mixture into prepared dish.  Put remaining pie crust on top: cut slits in top.  Bake at  350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

**Use that left over turkey from Thanksgiving instead of chicken!!***

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thought for the day

I got my Thanksgiving grocery shopping done yesterday.  Holy cow !!!  Not sure that I left anything at the store - it all ended up in my van. 

I know that I will have to run, for last minute things or things that my family has used up, before I get to baking or cooking.  I always have to get more butter and of course, eggs. 

I am getting so excited that Thanksgiving is just a week away.  It is NEXT Thursday!!  I usually can feel myself getting stressed about everything that needs to be done in the next week, but I don't anymore.  (Don't ask any of my family members this question, they might give you a different answer.) I have my to do list and I have finally realized that it doesn't matter anymore, if everything is perfect.  What matters most is that we get together as family and friends.  For that, I am truly Thankful. 

There are so many things to be thankful for this year ... I am not sure if I can list them all.  On facebook, I have been doing the "Today I am thankful for .... " each day of November.  It has been fun and really makes you think of ALL the things to be thankful for. 

I will try to post how getting prepared for Thanksgiving is going, from cleaning to the cooking.  I hope to post something at least every other day  until next week. 

Please feel free to post a comment on how your week is going.  Have you gotten your grocery shopping done?  How about the cleaning?  Can't wait to hear how your week is coming along ...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Southern Corn Bread Dressing

Well, I have found a recipe for corn bread dressing.  It is not exactly like my grandmother's, but it is really close.  I hope you will enjoy this recipe and make it your own.

7 slices white bread (dried in warm oven)
Corn bread (2 pans)
2 cups of chopped celery (if you don't like celery - use celery salt)
1 large onion, chopped
8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter
7 cups stock reserved from cooking hen (or any store bought chicken stock will do)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sage
3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Crumble dried white bread slices, and corn-bread; mix together and set aside.  Saute' chopped celery and onion in butter until transparent, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.  Pour over corn bread mixture.  Add stock and mix well.  (The best way to do this is to dig in and get your hands dirty.  It works best to mix with hands. You need to make sure all cornbread and bread is broken up.) Add salt, pepper, and sage.  Add beaten eggs and mix well. 

Pour into a greased pan.  Cook for about 45 minutes or until done. 

** I make the dressing the night before.  After mixing together I will cook a little bit for tasting.  To make sure that there is enough seasoning, bread and/or butter.  My family always shows up for tasting time.  I think they like this, as much as, eating it on Thanksgiving day.  **

** To make it a little richer in taste you can add a can of cream of chicken.  This really gives it a nice taste and some extra texter.  **

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today's scripture

Scripture of today 11/15/10

Psalm 113:3-4

vs 3 "Everywhere - from east to west - praise the name of the Lord."

vs. 4 "For the Lord is high above the nations: his glory is far greater than the heavens."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Roasting a Turkey

The very first time I had to cook the bird for Thanksgiving, I was horrified.  My grandmother had cooked it for years, in a brown paper bag, covered in cooking oil.  That is all that I can remember about the way she cooked it. Hey, I learned the dressing recipe, not how to cook a turkey.  Then, it was handed down to my mother, well, needless to say, I didn't learn anything there either.  So, the first year, I was on my own, and with a house full of people coming.

Needless to say, I had nightmares the night before.  I was going to over sleep or that when I took the turkey out of the oven it was still raw.  However, none of those things happened.  My turkey came out just beautiful and was rather tasty, if I say so myself.

I did a lot of research about how to cook a turkey and watched hours and hours of the food network.  (I still love watching that channel, especially this time of year.)  I have taken different things from different cooks - to finally come up with a recipe that I really like and have cooked this way for a couple of years.  I hope you enjoy it.

1 Tbsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into large chunks
1 large lemon, cut into halves
1 bay leave
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of parsley
1 fresh or thawed turkey, (18 to 20 pounds), rinsed and patted dry, giblets & neck removed
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1/4 cup of salted butter, melted
1/2 cup of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
kitchen twine

Preheat over to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position.  Stir together melted butter and wine in a medium sauce pan.  Fold a very large piece of cheesecloth into quarters, so that it is large enough to cover breast and halfway down sides of turkey.  Immerse cloth in butter mixture; let soak.

Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan.  Fold wing tips under turkey.  Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt and pepper inside turkey.  Also, place onion, carrots, celery, bay leave, thyme, parsley, and lemon inside turkey.  Tie legs together with kitchen twine.  Fold neck flop under; secure with toothpicks.  Rub turkey all over and underneath the skin with softened butter; season with salt and pepper.  (I also put a little thyme & parsley into the softened butter.  You can also use sage)

Remove cheesecloth from butter mixture, squeezing gently into pan.  Reserve butter mixture for brushing.  Lay cheesecloth over turkey.  Place turkey, legs first, in oven.  Roast 30 minutes.  Brush cheesecloth and exposed turkey with butter mixture.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees.  Roast, brushing every 30 minutes, 2-1/2 hours more; cover with foil if browning too quickly. 

Discard cheesecloth; rotate pan.  Baste turkey with pan juices.  Roast, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees.  Transfer to a platter. 

**My turkey is too big to put in my oven, legs first.  So, I had to put it in lengthwise and didn't worry about rotating it. **

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scripture for today

Well - I am having a hard time deciding on what scripture to post today.  For the past couple of days in my Bible time, it has been on Hebrews chapter 11.  What a chapter?  

I have read this chapter a couple of times, but this time around it is really hitting me. 

So for the weekend - my scripture for the day is - Hebrews chapter 11 !!!  Read it and then re-read it.  Hopefully it will hit you too.

Thought for the day ...

Are you one of those people that is waiting for a big miracle to come your way?  Well, there are a couple of them, that I would love to come my way, especially in my financial world.  I would love to just wake up one morning and be debt free or go to the mailbox and there be a hugh check for me.

After having a conversation, about this subject, with a dear friend of mine, I realized that there are many miracles that is happening all around me, and I am not even seeing them.  I am so blinded, by my only looking for a big miracle, I am not seeing, the small ones. 

Whatever size the miracle, it is still a great miracle. 

So, I started opening my eyes, to see, just what I had been missing.  Low and behold, I was missing some great things going on in my life.  How could I be missing these?  My eyes were on the bigger picture and all this time, I was not seeing what was right in front of me. 

There are miracles that happen everyday, in our lives.  We just have to open our eyes to see them.  Take for instance, I got a letter in the mail from my homeowners insurance.  They said that they were dropping my insurance because I had some missing brick/sliding/stucco, from my  house.  Instead  of panicking, I called my agent and asked him about this.  He told me to take some pictures and send them to him.  Well, he called me this morning and told me that everything was taken care of, not to worry.  Thank you Lord, for my miracle.   I passed that test.  (a discussion for another day)

So, open your eyes and see what all kind of miracles you are missing, that are happening right around you.  What have you seen?  I would love for you to share some with me.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Today's scripture

Scripture for today - Friday 12th

John 10: 9 & 10

vs. 9 - "Yes, I am the gate.  Those who come in through me will be saved.  Wherever they go, they will find green pastures."

vs. 10 - "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To do list for Thanksgiving

Ok, as promised, here is my to-do list, for the week of Thanksgiving. 

My first year, of having Thanksgiving at my house, stressed me out.  I had a lady, tell me, to do a list of every single thing that needed to be done, whether I thought it was crazy or not.  I still have that original list and I go by it each year.  Of course, things have changed from it, but I honestly don't know, that I would have done without that one simple list. 

You don't have to go right by mine, use mine as an example.  Hopefully it will help you get going.

Here is mine:

Week of Thanksgiving:

Monday & Tuesday
1. Clean house - go back through and do a deep clean
2. Wash Clothes - that way you don't have to worry about this at the end of the week
3. Clean off back porch
4. Check grocery list - this is to make sure that I have everything that I need. 
5. Start thawing turkey - Monday
6. Cook cornbread - 4 pans - Tuesday

1. Cook chicken - AM - for dressing
2. Make dressing - afternoon
3. Make sure turkey is thawed
4. Get turkey ready for cooking PM
5. Get extra tables out and clean them
6. Pre-cook dressing - PM
7. Buy bags of ice

Thanksgiving Day: (these times are from last year)
1. Cook turkey - 3 hrs - 8:00am
2. Cook dressing - 30 min - 11:30
3. Cook Green beans - 30 min - 11:45
4. Cook potatoes - 30 min - 11:00
5. Make potato salad -
6. Cook Macaroni & cheese - 20 min - 12:00
7. Make tea - sweet & unsweet - AM
8. Cook rolls - 12:00
9. Set up tables - 12:00
9. Get out all paper products - 12:00

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken

This is an easy and simple recipe.  I love using the Crockpot - makes life even more easier.  Or you can cook this in the oven 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until juices of chicken run clear.

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken
1 (15 oz) can pineapple chunks, undrained
3/4 cup teriyaki sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Rice, cooked

In a crockpot, combine pineapple chunks (with juice) and teriyaki sauce.  Add chicken breasts.  Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours or on high for 4 - 6 hours.  Serve over rice. 

Note: Thicken the sauce by dissolving 1-1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch in 1/4 cup water and adding to crockpot.  Cook on high, stirring occasionally, until thickened.  Can also add chopped carrots, green peppers, and onions at beginning of cooking.
Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So, how does your family celebrate Thanksgiving?

We get together with our extended family.  There are about 35 people, sisters, cousins and their families, that come to my house, for lunch on Thanksgiving.  We have a potluck style luncheon, with everyone bringing a dish or two.  We always have so much food, and really good food too. 

Do you have your menu done?  Here is a look at our menu, hopefully it will give you something to go by. 

Turkey (20 pounds+)  - me
Dressing                     - me
Potato Salad              - me
Green Beans              - me
Sweet Pot. Cass.      - Denise (sister)
Fruit Salad                - mom
Okra                        - Sondra (cousin)
Deviled Eggs             - Sondra & Lori (sister)
Corn Casserole          - Lori
Mac & Cheese         - me
Cream Corn              - mom
Baked Beans             - Kristy (cousin)
Mashed Potato          -Lori
Rolls                          - me

banana pudding   -  Rachael (niece)
cupcakes  -  Denise
Pecan Pie   -  Sondra

Then there is the list of non cooked items - which usually I furnish.
2 liter drinks

Hopefully my list will give you some ideas, if you are having a hard time, on what to serve this Thanksgiving.  Don't over do it, keep things simple. 

It can be overwhelming, if you let it.  I love doing it, and I love having everyone over to eat.  This is the only time that we get to see some cousins, from out of town.  That is one reason why we eat on paper plates, we don't have to wash all those dishes. 

Please take one lesson from me, don't spend your whole time in the kitchen.  I did that for the first couple of years and didn't get to enjoy my company.  Let the food sit - it is good for a hour or two.  Get someone else to help you clean the kitchen.  Just because you are having it at your house, doesn't mean you have to do all the work. 

I will be sharing some of my Thanksgiving recipes with you in the next couple of days.  All except for the dressing - that one is a family secret.  But I will be glad to find a cornbread dressing recipe and post it.  Will also be working on my TO DO LIST for the week of Thanksgiving.  That is another way that I keep my sanity.

Love to hear from you - What are some of your family traditions?  What all does your family cook?  Can't wait to hear ...

Scripture for today

Hebrews 6:15

" Then Abraham waited patiently and he received what God had promised."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

God's Word

I am so thankful that I have God's Word.  There is so much information in this one book, called the Bible.  If you are hurting, need comfort, advice (about anything) and anything else under the sun, it can be found in God's Word. 

This is something I am finding to be true.  For the past 4 yrs, I have been reading the Bible all the way through.  With each time, I have learned something new.  I had thought about not doing it next year, but I have decided to read through it again.   I can't wait to see what I will learn next year. 

I am hoping by the end of this year, I will have it written out, how to read through the entire Bible, in one year, two different ways.  I bought me a Bible 4 yrs ago that it has it broken down for me.  It gives me scriptures to read each day of the week, such as: some old testament, some new testament, Psalms and Proverbs.   The book is Change your Life Daily Bible by Becky Tirabassi - her website is  (Change your life is in no way paying me for this endorsement of her website or Bible.) 

I am wanting to share a verse each day that has touched me or just a verse to share.  Please feel free to share verses with me.  I love to see what verses influence other people.

Today's Verse:

Hebrews 4:16
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Last night was Mary's first middle school basketball game.  She really did good.  I was proud of her. 

As always, I was a nervous wreck.  That has become the normal for me.  I was always nervous when the boys play baseball, especially when they pitched. 

In the picture, is Thomas and Mark showing their support for their sister.  Between the two shirts it says - WE LOVE MARY.  On the back of the shirts is has Brother 1 and Brother 2.  They love that they can finally cheer for their sister.

For years, their sister has cheered for them while they have played countless baseball, basketball and football games.  She would take her Barbies with her, but she always cheered for them.  They said this was their time to cheer for her. 

I am so thankful and proud of my kids.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Final Thyroid Story

Well, this is the conclusion to my thyroid story. 

It has been almost 10 years since I found out that I had to have thyroid surgery and that I had thyroid cancer.  It has been a long journey.  Some of it, being good and some of it, not being easy, but I have come through it and am a fighter. 

Each year, since my surgery, I have had to have a I-130 Whole Body scan done.  It meant that I had to come off my medication for two to four weeks.  That was always the worse part of the whole test.  It was horrible having to come off my medication, but I knew it was something I had to do.  I tried not to worry about each test and the results, but it is hard, not too.  I am so very thankful to God, that they all came out negative for anymore cancer. 

I really don't think I could have gotten through any of this ordeal without God's grace.  There were days that I didn't feel like getting out of bed, but I knew that I had too.  With God's grace, I was able to do just the things that I had to get done.  With God's grace, my husband and kids were fabulous through all of this.  They were there from day one and are still there for me now.  I just can't thank them or God enough for being there for me.

Now for the future - I am not sure what it holds.  I am suppose to have another Whole Body scan done, but now there is a new test that I don't have to come totally off my medication.  Thank you Lord for that.   I know that there is so much more to learn about thyroid cancer and being hypothyroid. 

I am wanting to post the things that I find so that we can all learn together.  I would love to hear from any of you that have thyroid issues and things you have learned.  Maybe we can all learn together.

Thank you for letting me share my story with you. 

Mary' Birthday

It has been crazy around here this week.  Mary's birthday was yesterday, she turned 12.  It is hard to believe that my baby girl is 12, almost a teenager.  I really don't know where the time has gone.  Kids really do, grow up, way to fast. 

As a tradition, in our family, we go out to eat, at a restaurant of the birthday person's choice.  She wanted O'Charley's, so that is where we went.  Here is a picture of my three kids - from left to right - Thomas, Mary and Mark.  We had a great time. 

This weekend isn't going to be any calmer.  Mary has a scrimmage game tonight and one tomorrow.  Can't wait to see her play on the middle school junior varsity team.  Then everyone is coming over tomorrow night for a family birthday party.  I am making a big cookie cake and a big pot of homemade chili.  Looking forward to having everyone over.

Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thyroid Story - Part III

Let me see - Where did I leave off?

I thought that when the doctor took out the rest of my thyroid that my journey was over with, little did I know, it was not.  That was one of the hardest summers, that I can ever remember and it was one, that I will never forget. 

I had to go in, after the surgery, to have a thyroid scan done just to make sure that there were not pieces of my thyroid left behind.  Well, not sure how it happened, but there was a tiny piece left and it was still active.  So, this meant, that I had to have the radioactive iodine done. 

Doesn't sound too bad, does it?  Well, for the most part it wasn't.  The worse part was the time it was taking to get the test done and the hospital to read the report.  You have to know, that during this time, I was not taking any thyroid medication at all.  If you don't know anything about thyroid, then you will not understand why this was so hard, and the worse part.

I remember sleeping late most mornings, finally getting up and dressed, just before noon.  Then it was time to lay down and take a nap.  I felt so sorry for my kids, during this time, because I just didn't have the energy to do anything.  However, they were the best kids any mother could ask for.  They were there for me.  No one understood, not even my mother.  Until the time, that I was talking to her on the phone and I was out of breath. She asked me what I was doing, and I told her, folding a load of clothes.  It took everything I had to fold that load of towels.

Anyway, the radioactive iodine, wasn't really that bad.  I had to stay in the hospital for 3 days and 2 nights.  I was in total isolation.  At first, that was really nice.  Heck, I had three kids ages of 13, 7 and 3.  I could only take things into the room that I didn't want to bring out.  So, I took magazines and coloring books.  Thank goodness I am a TV junkie.

The nurses couldn't even come into my room.  They would leave my food, on throw-away containers, just inside the door.  They put a large trash can in my room, in order for me, to throw any leftovers away.  Every inch of the room had either paper taped down or saran wrap.  I did do some coloring on the walls and floors.  That was actually fun.

After, the treatment, I had to wait so many days so that I could have another thyroid scan done.  This time they did a whole body scan, to make sure there was nothing else showing and that all the iodine, had gotten all the way out.   (I still haven't had any medication) The results seemed like it took forever to be read.  The person was either out of town or just too busy, to read my report.  The report finally got read and everything was fine.

So, therefore, after many months of agonizing fatigue, pain and emotional roller coaster, I got to go back on my medication.  It takes a few days for it to get into your system.

For additional information on Thyroid and Thyroid Cancer, you can visit  They have a lot of great information regarding Thyroid subject.
Stay tuned next Friday for the final installment to my Thyroid story ...

Homemade Applesauce

I made on Halloween weekend.  This recipe was very easy to make and tasted really good.  Hope you enjoy!!!

Homemade Applesauce

2 lg. navel oranges, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 pounds of Granny Smith apples (about 6 to 8 apples)
3 pounds of sweet red apples - Macoun, Mcintosh, Winesap (about 6 to 8 apples)
1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl.  Peel, quarter, and core the apples (reserving the peel of 2 of the red apples) and toss them in the juice.  Pour the apples, reserved apple, peel, and juice into a nonreactive Dutch over or enameled iron pot.  Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and allspice and cover the pot.  Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until all the apples are soft.  Remove the discard the red apple peel.  Mix with a whisk until smooth, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves: 2-1/2 quarts
Prep time: 20 min
Cook Time:  1 hr. 30 min.
Level:  Easy

** Note:  I used Fugi apples.  Make sure to put long peels into the dish.  It was hard finding the smaller peels.  Also, I used a potato masher along with the whisk.  **

Saturday, October 30, 2010


How do you pray?  Is there a right or wrong way to pray? 

I don't think it is a one size fits all.  I think that praying is an individual choice.  However, there are so many books out on how to pray.   I have read a few myself.  I have gotten different things from each book. 

Here are a few ways that I pray - hopefully you might can find a few that will help you with your prayer life. 

#1 - Pray like you are talking to your best friend -  I had a friend to tell me along time ago that he prays like Jesus is sitting right there in the chair next to him.  So, this is something that I have done since then.   It makes it a lot easier. 

#2 - Write your prayers down -  Make a journal where you write your prayers down.  This way it will keep you from forgetting who you are praying for and why.  Make sure to mark when the prayer has been answered.  That way when you look back, you will be able to see, what prayers, got answered.  This is really neat to see. 

#3 - Make an appointment with God -  This is something that I have always struggled with, of getting my priorities in order.  However, I have set a new goal for myself, and that is, to set aside 30 minutes a day to be with God.  That includes doing my Bible reading, praying and journaling.  So far, I have been doing good and the 30 minutes is flying by. 

#4 - Daily admit your shortcomings to God. - Making it a daily practice to rid your mind of guilt, doubt. and a poor self-concept by confessing any known sin (such as any unforgiveness, resentment, outbursts of anger, secret jealousies, or even hate) is the ultimate way to make friends and influence people.   Ask God for his help to change. 

Some people would disagree with this one, but I have been doing this for a short time, and I think it does help.  He knows what is on your mind anyway. 

We have to realize that God's love for us doesn't waver, nor is it based on my performance.  We can depend on His promise and principle in 1John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness".

If we practice of daily confessing my shortcomings to God can free us from dark habits and negative thinking that can hinder and hold us back from being all that we are meant to be!

#5 - Pray without ceasing -  We should pray all day long.  I will find little pockets or opportunities through out the day to pray.  Sometimes the Lord will prompt me to pray for a certain person at any given moment.  Or I just simply have a quiet moment, so I send a prayer up. 

#6 - Ask God for the things you want - He says to come to Him and ask and it shall be given.  This isn't to always ask for material things, but He does want us to ask.  We may not always get the answer we are wanting, but we can know that He will give us what we need.

God can never work in our lives until be open the door.  Prayer opens doors!!

God is waiting on us to PRAY!!!

Just start praying ...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Honey-Herb Pork

This recipe is one of my oldest sons favorite.  It can also be made with Chicken. 

Honey-Herb Pork

1 cup of beer or ginger ale
1/2 cup prepared mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp onion powder
1-1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
2 pork tenderloins (1 pound ea)

In a small bowl, combine the first nine ingredients.  Pour 1 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag, add pork.  Seal bag and turn to coat: refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade for basting.

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before preparing the grill for indirect heat.  Drain and discard marinade from pork.  Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees, basting occasionally with reserved marinade.  Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve with any remaining marinade if desired. 

Yield: 6 servings - 4 oz cooked pork equals 274 calories, 8 g. fat, 84 mg. cholesterol, 432 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 31 g protein

**This can be cooked in the oven on 425 degrees for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the thermometer reads 160 degrees.

** This is great served with Honey Mustard sauce.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where is the time going?  It is hard to believe that October is almost over with and Halloween is this coming weekend.   Then that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner, with Christmas hot on it's trail. 

I am not sure about you, but I absolutely love the holidays.  I love Thanksgiving and all the food.  There is nothing about Christmas, that I don't like. 

What are some of your plans for the holidays?  Do you host Thanksgiving at your house?  How many people do you have over? 

I host Thanksgiving at my house.  It has been handed down to me and I love it.  It was at my grandmother's for years, until she got sick.  Then, it became my mother's turn to host Thanksgiving.  Now, it has become my turn.  I wouldn't trade it for nothing. 

I have about 30 to 35 people over for Thanksgiving.  We do a covered dish.  I cook the turkey and my grandmother's famous dressing.   My grandmother's dressing is the best, and I was fortunate enough to get to learn her recipe.  It took me years to master, because she never had the recipe wrote down.  It is a little of this and a little of that.    This is something that I have cherished for years and look forward to handing down the recipe to my daughter or granddaughter one day. 

How do you prepare for the holidays?  Do you do a checklist or a to do list?  I know that I have to.  I will be posting it within the week.  I have a list of to dos the week before Thanksgiving and would love to share with you.  I would love to see what your list entails.  Hope that you will share with us.


Friday, October 22, 2010

My Thyroid Story - Part II

Last week, I ended my story after having my first child and gaining all my weight back. 

My other two kids were the same way.  I would lose weight while I was pregnant, but right after having them I gained all my weight back.  Not only did I lose weight, but my energy level was through the roof.   (Oh how, I wish I could have some of the energy now.)

After having my last child, Mary, I just kept having really hard times.  I just couldnt' seem to have any energy at all.  Some days it was just hard getting myself to get out of bed or off the sofa.  If you have ever had the flu, then this is how that feels. 

It was December of 2000, Mary had just turned 2, when I finally got my doctor to listen to me.  I just told him that something had to be wrong.  He felt of my thyroid and said that it was getting larger on the inside. 

Now, let me explain, in case you dont' know anything about the Thyroid.  Some people have what is called Goiter, that usually enlarge on the outside of their throats.  Some can get pretty large if they are not removed.

However, mine was growing on the inside.  So, he sent me to have a thyroid scan done.  It confirmed what the doctor had said, "It was pretty large and he was sending me to a ears, nose and throat doctor." 

My ears, nose, and throat doctor told me that I had a couple of choices: one - I could have a biopsy done on the thyroid and see what the results came back as.  If they came back positive for cancer then I would have to have it removed.  Two - if it kept enlarging, I would have to have it removed.  OR I could go ahead and have it removed, then they would run tests on it to see if it is cancerous.  So, I thought there was no need to wait around to see what happened.  Better  to go ahead and get the surgery over with. 

So, February 2001, I went into the hospital to have my thyroid removed.  This surgery brings great risks, due to it being right at your vocal cords and one, small, wrong move can leave you unable to speak.  After coming out of surgery, I looked like I had been in a gang fight.  Black and blue from my neck to my eyes, I was a sight for sure.  However, everything went fine with the surgery. 

At the hospital, they run a cancer test to see if it is positive or negative.  Well that report came back negative.  They still send a sample off to have further tests done.  They do a more detailed tests.  Those tests results came back in two weeks and I will never forget the look on my husbands face when the doctor told me, I had thyroid cancer.  

Having thyroid cancer, meant that I would have to have another surgery to remove the rest of my thyroid.  I wasn't looking forward to having another surgery.  I had just gotten over the one from two weeks ago.  Now I was going to have to do it again. 

Continued next Friday ...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spending Time with God

I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  Do we spend enough time with God?  What does spending time with God entail? 

These are questions we all need to ask ourselves, but the answers are going to be different for each of us.  There should be no, one size fits all, for how we spend time with God. 

In my asking myself these questions, I am trying to find my way.  I do spend time with God, but I am feeling lately, that it is, not enough time.  So, there in lies, another question, how much time is enough time? 

How much time do you spend with God?  Is it 15 minutes, 20 minutes or more, each day?

In the book I am reading, "Let Faith Change your Life" by Becky Tirabassi, she was talking about spending time with God, and she spends a hour each day.   She reads her Bible, prays and writes in her journal. 

So, I prayed about this last night and have really thought about it today.  I am setting myself a goal, of spending 30 minutes with God each day.   I want to make time to do my Bible reading, pray, do some journeying and just be still, quiet and listen to God.  

What are the benefits of spending time with God?  Well, the first thing that comes to my mind is, so I can get closer to Him.  In the book, "Let Faith Change your Life", Becky talks about why we should have our quiet time with God.  She says, "that her lack of enthusiasm about God and faith was because of her lack of time with God. The bottom line: faith had become an isolated compartment of my life rather than the center or hub of my existence."

So, are you going to join me in setting yourself a goal of spending time with God?  What are the things you want to do during your quiet time?  I would love to hear them.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Season

I think that fall season is my favorite.  The air is getting cooler from the long hot summer days.  The leaves are starting to turn all different gorgeous colors.  I have been seeing yellow, red and some orange.   You just can't get any more prettier than that.

With fall season comes pumpkins, football games, and festivals.

There are all different sizes of pumpkins these days .. from hugh to really small.  Some you can carve and some you can eat.  With carving brings out the artist in everyone.  As for me, I just like the simple eyes, nose and mouth with a few teeth.  Actually, that is all I can do and sometimes it really isnt' the best. 

The festivals come out of the woodwork, during the fall season.   I know in the south, we have festivals every weekend and there is no telling, how many different ones you will be able to find.  Festivals are great to attend - you can find all kinds of crafts from woodworking to jewelry.  Just about anything that you would want to buy.   I know I go through saying, "I can make that", but I never do.

Then there is the food at the festivals.  Not sure what is my favorite.  I love the candied apples, apple cider,  ears of corn cooked in their shuck and the list goes on and on.  I always have the hardest time choosing what I want to eat.    It is a good thing that we do a lot of walking at the festivals, so that I can walk off all the things I am eating.

At my house, fall also means, fires in the backyard and homemade chili.   There is nothing like the smell of a big pot of homemade chili cooking while we are watching football on Saturdays.  The kids love making a fire in the backyard and making smores. 

Everyone has their own favorite seasons that they like, but mine is fall.  I am loving that we are in the fall season.  Now to simply sit and enjoy all that it brings!!!

What is your favorite season and why? 

Different things to do with Chicken

If your family is like mine, we tend to eat a lot of Chicken.  Therefore, I am always looking for different ways to cook it.  That will be easy to cook and easy on my checkbook.   Here are a couple of ways to cook chicken and you can just add rice to make it a meal.

#1 - Cube chicken breast and then marinate in Italian dressing.  You can marinate for 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours.  Then just cook over stove top.  Serve over rice.

#2 - Slice some bell peppers (what color depends on what you like) and onion and saute' in pan with a little bit of butter & oil.  Then add cubed chicken.  After chicken is done, add salsa (add as much or as little as you would like).   Serve over rice. 

I hope that your family enjoys these two different ways to cook chicken.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Story - Thyroid problems - Part I

I never thought about me blogging about my thyroid issues, until today, and it just hit me to tell my story.  Over the next couple of weeks, on Friday, I will share my Thyroid story. 

Over 20 years ago, I went to the doctor to see why I wasn't losing weight.  I was trying my hardest to lose weight.  Eating, at least 1/2 way decent, and exercising.  I was always tired and really didn't have a lot of energy.  Also, my hair was coming out by the hand fulls and my nails were very brittle.   My doctor asked me if I had ever had my Thyroid checked. 

Thyroid?  What was that?  I didn't have a clue. I didn't know where it was at.  So, he examined me and found that mine was a little enlarged.  Then he said he wanted to do a biopsy.  Now what did this entail?

I will never forget, as long as I live, him coming in with this really long needle. I asked him what he was going to do with that needle and he said, "I have to take a biopsy from your thyroid".  I told him that he only had one chance and that was it.  Little did I know, he had to stick me three different times. 

At that time, the results came back beign.  However, my blood work did come back showing that I had hypothyroidism.  The doctor told me I would be on this medication for life and sent me on my way. 

I had no clue what to do, besides take my medication each and everyday.  We didn't have the Internet back then to do research and find out what all this meant.  I never learned anything.  I just knew what I had heard from other people, that they took their meds and lost weight.  Not me.

I ended up getting pregnant with my 1st child, who is now 22.  While I was pregnant, I lost 50 pounds.  I ate whatever I wanted to and I had SO much energy.  I out walked by husband and friends, from work, at Six Flags, just two weeks before my due date.  

As soon, as I had my son, the weight just came back on.   The only thing the doctors can figure out is, my thyroid must have started working.  This happened with each of my children - I lost weight. 

Please check back in next Friday for Part II . 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Italian Chicken penne

I had a hard time deciding on the very first recipe that I was going to share with you.  Well, I have decided on one of my families favorite, and my picky son, loves this recipes.

It is easy and it pretty cheap to make.

Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.

Italian Chicken Penne'

2-3 Chicken Breast - cooked & cubed
1 box of Penne' noodles (can use any kind of noodles you would like)
Parmesan Cheese
Italian Dressing (any kind you like)
optional - other cheeses

Cook Chicken until done and cube.  ( I like to cut mine up and saute' on the top of the stove).  Cook noodles as directed on the box and drain.  Combine cooked chicken and noodles.  Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and grate additional cheeses, of your choice.  (You don't have to add the extra cheese if you don't want too)  Pour the Italian dressing over the chicken and noodles.  I add about 1/2 of the bottle, but this is to taste.  Add more or less, depending on your family.  I usually will let this sit for a few minutes to let the additional cheese melt.  Eat and enjoy!!!

Weekly Menu

I have been working today on my menu plan for next week.  I have decided to do a little bit more work and do two weeks of menu planning.  I thought it would be harder to do two weeks at once, but it hasn't been that hard. 

This way when I go to the store next week, I can have my grocery list ready.   For once, I am ahead of the game. 

I think everyone should try making a menu plan for you and your family.   Start with just a week at a time.  It makes my life so much easier.  For one, the family isn't asking me all the time, "What are we having for supper?"  They can just simply look on the refrigerator. 

Of course, it isn't set in stone.  I have had to change this around from time to time, and that is ok.  At least, I know that I will have all the ingredients to make what is on my list.  There won't be any last minute dash to the grocery store.  Therefore, you will not only be saving yourself time, in the long run, you will be saving yourself money.

What are some of your families favorite meals?  Do you do a  weekly menu?  How has it helped your family?  I can't wait to hear your stories.

Two Week Menu Plan

Sunday  -  Baked Mac & Cheese
Monday -  Cheddar Chicken & Potatoes
Tuesday -  Baked Ziti
Wed.     -  Pinto Beans, Cornbread, Okra
Thurs.    -  Tator Tot Casserole
Fri.        -  Chicken Nuggets, Baked Fries (football game)
Sat.       -  Homemade Chili

Sunday  -  Roast with potatoes
Monday -  Honey-Baked Chicken
Tues.     -  Mexican Hamburger Casserole 'New" - Dining on a Dime Cookbook
Wed.     -  Chicken Pot Pie
Thurs.    -  Cheeseburger Casserole "New"  - Dining on a Dime Cookbook
Fri.        -   Out (football game)
Sat.       -  Homemade Chili (trick or treating)

As you can tell, my family loves Homemade Chili, and through fall and winter we eat a lot of it.  It is easy to make and it is so good when it is cold.

I have some new recipes that I am trying, can't wait to try them.  It is from a new cookbook that I got and I have tried several from it already.  Really good and easy.  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Believing God

I just wanted to tell you a little bit about myself, spiritually.  I am a Christian, from a Baptist background.  I know that the Jesus died on the cross for my sins. 

I am growing so much in my spiritual life, but I know that I have a ways to go.  God works on me each and everyday.  Thank goodness that He is working in me. 

I have Faith, but not where it should be, by no means.  I have faith that He will take care of my kids, but there are areas, that I am not trusting Him with, and that is not what He wants from me.  

He wants us to lean ALL of us on Him.  Do you do that?  What areas are you not giving to God?

Philippians 4:6 & 7
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 
Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 

I love to listen and follow Joyce Meyer Ministries.  She has been talking, this week, about Faith.  Oh how I have needed to hear those words that she has been speaking.  It is like God is speaking directly to me, through her. 

She was saying, that in order to have Faith we need to be praying - saying - doing.  We are to pray about the areas that we are needing help.  Then we are to say the promises that God talks about in the Bible and say the scriptures to back them up.  Finally, we are to do, what God is telling us to do, not what we want to do. 

So this is my goal for the week, starting today.  I am going to be praying about my financial situation, my weight issue and anything else that will come to mind.  Then I am going to go around saying God's promises, just like the ones above.  And lastly, I am going to do whatever He is telling me to do.

I certainly don't need to keep doing what I have been doing.  It isn't working for me.  It is the main reason we are in the mess that we are in.  So, Lord, please guide and direct me. 

What are some of the things you will be praying for?  I would be glad to pray along with you.

My very first post!!!

I just can't believe that I am actually doing this .. taking the plunge and starting my blog.  I have been thinking about this for awhile and doing a lot of research, but I never thought I would actually do it. 

Hot dog - here we go - off on a new adventure.  I sure hope that you will follow along as I grow while I am still learning about so many things in life. 

Here are a few things that I wanting to share on my blog.  Spiritual Growth - where we can discuss and learn about faith, healing, God's amazing grace and a prayer request list.   Financial Growth - I am trying to get our family out of a huge "debt" hole and I want to stop digging.  This area I am definitely learning and am looking forward to your help and input.   Running a household:  recipes, tips, coupons, monthly/weekly menu, etc.

I am so excited about starting this adventure.  Please share your comments with me regarding my posts.  I look forward to learning from each of you.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eager to get going

I am so excited about this blog and all this things that I want to do with it.  I want to write about the things I  am learning, and there are so many. 

As I try to figure out the best way to get out of debt.  Which I am trying, and firmly believe in, Dave Ramsey's -  Financial Peace. I am just trying to make the right decisions, so that we can see results.  We have a big hole to climb our way out of, but with God's grace and direction, I know that we will be able to do it. 

Through this journey of getting ourselves out of debt, I am hoping that I will be able to help someone else NOT make the same mistakes that we did.  I wish I could say that we didn't get into debt to begin with, but we have and now it is a long road back to being DEBT FREE.  So, please follow along, and dont' be afraid to give me advice and help me along the way. 

Another area that I get so excited about learning is trying to run my household better.  I am working on trying to cut back money in all different kinds of areas, with my grocery bill being at the front.  I do cut coupons, but I am not the best at it, as some of you are.

I have, for the past couple of weeks, been doing a weekly meal plan and let me say this, "I love doing this".  It has been a great experience and I am looking forward to doing this each week and trying to do it twice a month, until I work up to once a month menu.  I know that this will help my grocery bill - it already has. 

My most exciting thing that I want to bring to this post is the spiritual growth.  I love reading the Bible and books on every subject there is about God.  I am growing so much in this area, but I know that I still have much more to learn.  I am not where I want to be, but thank goodness, I am not where I use to be.

In this section, I want to post how to read through your Bible in a year.  This is something that I have done and am currently working on.  So, by the end of this year, I will have it posted for the upcoming year.  It has been a wonderful blessing to me and I have learned so many different things. 

I really hope and pray that I will bring to this blog something for everyone.  If there is something you would like to see more of, please let me know.  I am here for you.